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Resumes for Career Changers

experience cover field letter

In this article, you will find resume tips for people who are making a major career change.

Transitioning from one career to another has become so common that it's almost not unconventional anymore. The average worker has three or four distinctly different careers over the course of the 40 years or so spent in the workforce. Even though it's becoming more commonplace, however, making the big switch still presents certain challenges when developing a resume. Here are just a few tips that you may find helpful:

  1. Lead with your strengths. You must have something in your background that leads you to believe that you can be successful in the new career. Whatever that something is, that's what you need to emphasize on your resume. It may be education, either recently completed or from years ago; it might be volunteer experience that has convinced you that you've found your calling; or it could be technical expertise that has prepared you for your next endeavor. Keep in mind the advice from chapters 2 and 3 about expressing it forward and highlighting the skills most relevant to your new career target.
  2. Use your cover letter to make your case. Even with a compelling resume that is “front-end-loaded” with all of your relevant skills, employers may not immediately grasp how you can be an asset or why you are making the transition. Your cover letter is your chance to be passionate about your new career choice. Maybe there's a compelling story about an incident in your life that convinced you to enter the health care field. Perhaps your engaging personality causes your friends to keep saying, “You should be in sales.” Whatever your reasons for making the change, use your cover letter to sell a prospective employer on your enthusiasm for the new opportunity.
  3. Express your competencies in language that is rich in the keywords of your career target. If you're transitioning from healthcare to the private sector, “patient care” becomes “customer service.” If you're moving into sales from some other field, emphasize “time management” and “meeting goals and objectives.” The prospective new employer will appreciate your use of keywords they are familiar with.
  4. If you're returning to a field in which you have had previous experience, place this in a section called “relevant experience.” This section should appear immediately after your summary and should include just the work experience that is similar to the job you're targeting. Then show the rest of your work experience under “additional related experience,” which comes after “relevant experience,” or maybe even after your education.

Resumes for the Rest of Us © 2009 , Career Press, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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over 6 years ago

Is it OK to put this url into a printed document? I plan to use it as a reference to my readers in a new book about career change.

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about 4 years ago


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over 5 years ago

David S Howard
1409 Santa Fe Lane Apt. 201
Bremerton, WA 98383

Contact Phone:  (360) 990 -2115
Work Phone:  (360) 990-2115
Email Address:

07/2001 to Present ; 40 hours per Week; Marine Electrician; WG-05-05; last promoted 09/2011; permanent employee; not on a temporary promotion; PSNS, Bremerton, WA. ; Chasnny Chaffin , (360) 476-7370 ; may contact supervisor.

As a production electrician I have removed and installed various types of cable from 28 volts control, 120 volt lighting, 440 volt power and up to switchboard supply systems. As a production electrician I have laid out, upgraded and installed and connected all types of wiring, cableways, indication circuits with all aspects of lighting and power applications.
I have made various single and multiple fiber optic cable connectors. I have worked on control circuits, integration system, weapons electronics, motors and controllers, ships service generation and power circuits on board submarines and carriers with the ability to do this without supervision.
I have manufactured and assemble, service, test, disassemble, repair and reassemble all manner of electrical equipment.
I am proficient with reading and interpreting technical manuals and blue prints in order to conduct overhaul, repair, installation and maintenance of electrical wiring systems and associated fixtures, controls and electrical test equipment used in the PSNS/IMF industrial complex.
I can trace out defects in circuitry, clean and replace various parts and components, replace cable, cable connectors and systems, fabricate and install switchboards, control panels, transformers assemblies, circuit breakers and other electrical equipment.
I am qualified and conducted repairs with little or no supervision on naval submarines and surface ship electrical components consisting of the installation, repair, alteration, inspection, and/or troubleshooting of non nuclear equipment including but not limited to:

-Generators, motors, motor-generators, and associated control equipment and wiring.
-Power and lightning distribution systems including switchboards, circuit breakers, transformers, electrical/electronic panels and cabinets, appliances, and fixtures.
-Various warning, indicating, monitoring, and detection systems; both audio, and video.
-Fiber optic systems including LAN, PLC’s, and blown fiber backbones
-Repair of temporary service lighting and power equipment
-Weapons systems

I have used common hand tools, common electricians tools such as wire stripers and crimpers, soldering equipment, drills, drill presses, lathes, grinders, electrical/electronic measuring and metering equipment, fiber optic measuring and troubleshooting equipment, fiber optic and coaxial plug making tools, precision measurement devices, cleaners, paints, epoxy’s, varnishes, water proofing materials, contamination control material, and other chemicals/materials associated with PSNS/IMF Industrial electrical work.

04/2001 to 08/2001; 40+ hours per Week; Fire Watch; $11 per Hour; last promoted Not Specified; temporary employee; not on a temporary promotion; International Personel Security (IPS), 607 N. Callow; Jenny Crutcher , 360-373-3053 ; may contact supervisor.

Fire Watch- Responsible for the saftey of ship, equipment, and personel while performing duties as a fire watch. I watched for fires and fire hazards in the area of welding and hotwork. I helped welders identify and remove flamable items. I was also resposible for the cleanliness of the area during and after the hot work jobs were complete.

09/1998 to 12/1999; 40+ hours per Week; Mechanic and Painter; $15 per Hour; last promoted Not Specified; permanent employee; not on a temporary promotion; Marco Shipyard, Seattle Unkown; Unknown , Mike Hazmann ; may contact supervisor.

Mechanic and Painter: Painted interior and exterior of ships in and out of drydocks and was responsible for maintaining the safe working habits while working with hazardous materials. I grinded rust spots and nails if needed to ensure proper adhesion of paint and rust prevention materials. I sand blasted areas to clean areas and material as prep work for painting. I operated heavy equipment such as man lifts, overhead cranes, and forklifts while maintaining a perfect safety record.

Bremerton high school, Bremerton Wa, 98312; 1999 High School Diploma
Art Instruction Schools, Minneapolis, MN.;  No Degree in Ace credit , 2011; 3.8 out of Other GPA;  Other Hours
ITT Technical Institute, Seattle Wa;  No Degree in Engineering , 0; 3.3 out of GPA; N/A Quarter Hour.

Fall Protection
Precision measurement
Stud Shooter
Electrical Conn. Fabrication Fiber Optic
Electrical Conn. Fabric. Coax
Elect. Conn. Fabric. Multipin
Nonnuclear quality control worker
Electrical Saftey
Qualified Shipboard and Submarine electrical mechanic, cable/cableway mechanic and installer.
Additional Qualifications available per ATMS Query System

-Time Off reward 07-13-06; -Special Achievement Award 03-08-06; -Special Achievement Award 03-22-06; -Special Achievement Award 10-15-08

David S Howard
1. Appointment Eligibility:
      Yes-Current Permanent Navy Civilian
      Current Permanent Federal Civilian Employee
2. Citizenship:  Yes
3. Appt Preference:
      Shift Work
4. Willing to Travel:  6 or More Days
5. Vet Preference:  No Veterans Preference
6. Low Salary Accept:  $43,000
7. Qualified Typist:  Yes
8. Birth Date:  01/23/1980
9. Geo Preference:   WA, Bangor ;  WA, Bremerton

SEX:  Male

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over 4 years ago

Thanks for sharing this great article! That is very interesting Smile I love reading and I am always searching for informative information like this!

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about 2 years ago

Is it OK to put this url into a printed document? I plan to use it as a reference to my readers in a new book about career change.

Read more: Resumes for Career Changers - Experience, Field, Cover, and Letter -

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almost 3 years ago

Very informative steps for those who want to make a career switch. I am surely going to apply these to my resume and modify the different sections as per this article.

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almost 4 years ago

Since virtually all scholarships need to write down a minumum of one dissertation, it's very crucial which the dissertation an individual compose speaks to the grant most judges.

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over 4 years ago

I am proficient with reading and interpreting technical manuals and blue prints in order to conduct overhaul,real rasperry ketone

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over 4 years ago

I have used common hand tools, common electricians tools such as wire stripers and crimpers,real rasperry ketone

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over 4 years ago

Use your cover letter to make your case.real rasperry ketone